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2015 Non-alcoholic wine grape juices
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Early delivery Recent Press

Over the last five vintages harvest dates have been creeping forward. Fruits ripen more quickly when the weather is warm, creating a logistical problem for a vintner. Ripening quickly compresses the harvest, so all the necessary work has to be performed during a shorter span of time. For Navarro, the time period between harvesting for juice and harvesting for wine has also been condensed. Our protocol, which worked better when wine harvests were late, was to harvest, press, chill, filter and bottle the fresh juices before we harvested any grapes for wine. Juice is a perfect fermentation medium. We used to find it unthinkable that we would bottle juice while the new wines were bubbling and yeasts running rampant in the winery. Today, bottling juice while we're making wine is a reality; we have no choice. The first few weeks after bottling we keep our fingers crossed, fretting about a rogue yeast sneaking into a bottle of juice and starting an unplanned fermentation. We check the pallets daily.

One of Navarro's biggest juice fans is Tom Guylas; [right] if you've received our wine or juice delivered by UPS, Tom probably was the first of UPS's team to handle your package. Many customers have remarked how quickly they receive Navarro packages unless hot or cold weather make it unwise to ship immediately; we're proud of our shipping department but without Tom and UPS, delivery wouldn't happen so efficiently.

[above] Night harvesting. Although each picker wears a headlamp, most of the light during the night harvest is provided by huge floodlights that light up a large area and move with the picking team. If a picker is slow, he literally gets left in the dark, so keeping up with the crew is of prime importance. We harvest grapes for juice at about the same ripeness level for sparkling wine, but less ripe than for still wine; this earlier harvest results in juices where the sweetness is counterbalanced by the grape's acidity.

In spite of earlier harvest dates, we still make juice the same way we have for over thirty years. Grapes are destemmed, pressed and the juice quickly racked into stainless steel to be chilled to about 34°F. Over the following week, the juice is cold-filtered several times, with the final filtration being "yeast-proof." Filtration avoids pasteurization so the resulting juices taste exactly like fresh grapes; Gewürz juice is the more floral of the two and the taste suggests peach and lychee. The Pinot Noir has a pretty red color and tastes more of strawberry and rhubarb. Navarro juices are beloved by young and old alike.

Navarro Vineyards is at 5601 Hwy 128, Philo, CA 95466 · Tasting Room hours: 9 AM to 6 PM Summer (5 PM Winter)
Sales, Shipping & Customer Service: 8 AM to 6 PM Summer (5 PM Winter) @ 1-800-537-9463 or 707-895-3686 · Fax: 707-895-3647
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